The Bible Book by Book
The Author. The author is Luke who wrote the gospel of Luke. Facts concerning him may be found in chapter twenty-seven. He wrote this book about A. D. 63 or 64.

The Purpose. It was addressed to an individual as a sort of continuation of the former thesis and aims to chronicle the growth and development of the movement inaugurated by Jesus as it was carried on by the apostles after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. It is taken up largely with the history of Christian work among the Gentiles and only gives enough of the history of the Jerusalem church to authenticate the work among the Gentiles. The chief purpose, therefore, seems to be to give an account of the spread of Christianity among the Gentiles. This view is further strengthened in the fact that Luke himself was a gentile (Col. 4:10) and that he was a companion of Paul (Col. 4:14) and the "we" section of Acts. The book does not, therefore, claim to be a complete account of the labors of the early apostles. But it does give in a simple, definite and impressive manner an account of how the religion of Jesus was propagated after his death and of how it was received by those to whom it was first preached.

The Spirituality. In the Old Testament God the Father was the active agent. In the gospels God the Son (Jesus) was the active agent. In Acts (and ever after) God the Holy Spirit is the active agent. He is mentioned about seventy times in Acts. The Savior had told the apostles to wait at Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Ghost. Until they were endued with His power they were very ordinary men. Afterward they were pure in their purpose and ideals and were always triumphant in their cause. The book is a record of mighty spiritual power seen in action everywhere.


Introduction, 1:1-3.

I. The Church Witnessing in Jerusalem, 1:4-8:11.

1. Preparation for witnessing, 1:4-2:4.

2. First witnessing, 2:4-47 end.

3. First persecution, 3:1-4:31.

4. Blessed state of the church, 4:32-5:42.

5. First deacons, 6:1-7.

6. The first martyr, 6:8-8:1.

II. The Church Witnessing in Palestine, 8:2-12:25.

1. The witnesses are scattered abroad, 8:2-4.

2. Philip witnesses in Samaria and Judea, 8:5-40.

3. The Lord wins new witnesses, 9:1-11:18.

4. Center of labor changed to Antioch, 11:19-30.

5. The witnesses triumph over Herod's persecution, 12:1-25.

III. The Church Witnessing lo the Gentile World, 13:1-28:31.

1. Witnessing in Asia, Chs. 13-14. Paul's First Missionary Journey.

2. The first church council, 15:1-35.

3. Witnessing in Europe, 15:36-18:22. Paul's Second Missionary Journey.

4. Further witnessing in Asia and Europe, 18:23-21:17. Paul's Third Missionary Journey.

5. Paul, the witness, rejected and attacked by the Jews at Jerusalem, 21:18-23:35.

6. Two years imprisonment at Caesarea, Chs. 24-26.

7. Paul, the witness, carried to Rome, 27:1-28:15.

8. Paul, the witness, at Rome, 28:16-31.

For Study and Discussion. (1) The first church conference for business, 1:15-26. (2) The coming of the Holy Spirit, 2:1-4. (3) Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, 2:5-47. (4) The first miracle, ch. 3. (5) The first persecution, 4:1-31. (6) Death of Annanias and Sapphira, 5:1-11. (7) The first deacons, 6:1-7. (8) The first martyr, ch.7. (9) Philip's work in Samaria, 8:5-40. (10) Conversion of Saul, 9:1-31. (11) Conversion of Cornelius, 10:1-11:18. (12) List the principal churches of the book, their location and what makes them notable. (13) List the principal preachers of the book and note the sermons or miracles, etc., that make them prominent. (14)The sermons and addresses of the book, to whom each was delivered, its purpose, etc.(15) The chief elements of power of these early disciples. (16) The growth of Christianity and the hindrances it had to overcome. (17) The great outstanding teachings of these early Christians. (18) The tact and adaptation of the apostles (give examples). (19) The different plans to kill Paul and the way by which he escaped each. (20) The missionary journeys of Paul and his journey to Rome as a prisoner.

For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Acts 1. The Ascension; Matthias Chosen by Lot

1. Christ, preparing his apostles to the beholding of his ascension, .
4. gathers them together unto the Mount of Olives,
6. commands them to expect in Jerusalem the sending down of the Holy Spirit,
9. and ascends into heaven in their sight
10. After his ascension they are warned by two angels to depart, and to set their minds upon his second coming.
12. They accordingly return, and, giving themselves to prayer,
23. choose Matthias apostle in the place of Judas.

Acts 2. The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost, Peter Preaches, Believers Gather

1. The apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, and speaking various languages,
12. are admired by some, and derided by others;
14. whom Peter disproves;
37. he baptizes a great number who were converted;
41. who afterwards devoutly and charitably converse together;
43. the apostles working many miracles,
46. and God daily increasing his church.

Acts 3. Peter Heals the Lame Beggar, Speaks to Onlookers

1. Peter preaching to the people that came to see a lame man restored to his feet,
12. professes the cure to have been wrought by God, and his son Jesus;
13. withal reprehending them for crucifying Jesus;
17. which because they did it through ignorance,
18. and that thereby were fulfilled God's determinate counsel, and the Scriptures,
19. he exhorts them by repentance and faith to seek remission of their sins through Jesus.

Acts 4. Peter and John Arrested and Released; Believers Share All

1. The rulers of the Jews, offended with Peter's sermon,
3. imprison him and John.
5. After, upon examination
8. Peter boldly avouching the lame man to be healed by the name of Jesus,
11. and that only by the same Jesus we must be eternally saved,
13. they threaten him and John to preach no more in that name,
23. whereupon the church flees to prayer.
31. And God, by moving the place where they were assembled, testifies that he heard their prayer;
34. confirming the church with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and with mutual love and charity.

Acts 5. Deaths of Ananias and Sapphira; Apostles Imprisoned, Released by an Angel; Gamaliel Speaks

1. After that Ananias and Sapphira his wife,
3. at Peter's rebuke had fallen down dead;
12. and that the rest of the apostles had wrought many miracles;
14. to the increase of the faith;
17. the apostles are again imprisoned;
19. but delivered by an angel bidding them preach openly to all;
21. when, after their teaching accordingly in the temple,
29. and before the council,
33. they are in danger to be killed;
34. but through the advice of Gamaliel, they are kept alive, and are only beaten;
41. for which they glorify God, and cease no day from preaching.

Acts 6. The Seven Chosen; Stephen Seized

1. The apostles, desirous to have the poor cared for,
2. as also careful themselves to dispense the word of God, the food of the soul,
3. recommend,
5. and with the church's consent ordain seven chosen men to the office of deaconship.
7. The word of God prevails,
8. Stephen, full of faith and the Holy Spirit, confuting those with whom he disputed,
12. is brought before the council,
13. and falsely accused of blasphemy against the law and the temple.

Acts 7. Stephen's Speech, Stoning and Death

1. Stephen, permitted to answer to the accusation of blasphemy,
2. shows that Abraham worshipped God rightly, and how God chose the fathers,
20. before Moses was born, and before the tabernacle and temple were built;
37. that Moses himself witnessed of Christ;
44. and that all outward ceremonies were ordained to last but for a time;
51. reprehending their rebellion, and murdering of Christ, whom the prophets foretold.
54. Whereupon they stone Stephen to death,
59. who commends his soul to Jesus, and humbly prays for them.

Acts 8. Saul Persecutes the Church; Philip in Samaria; Simon the Sorcerer; the Ethiopian

1. By occasion of the persecution in Jerusalem, the church being planted in Samaria,
4. by Philip the deacon, who preached, did miracles, and baptized many;
9. among the rest Simon the sorcerer, a great seducer of the people;
14. Peter and John come to confirm and enlarge the church;
15. where, by prayer and imposition of hands giving the Holy Spirit;
18. when Simon would have bought the like power of them,
20. Peter sharply reproving his hypocrisy and covetousness,
22. and exhorting him to repentance,
25. together with John preaching the word of the Lord, return to Jerusalem;
26. but the angel sends Philip to teach and baptize the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Acts 9. Saul's Conversion; Ananias; Saul Begins to Preach; Aeneas and Dorcas

1. Saul, going toward Damascus, is stricken down to the earth,
8. and led blind to Damascus;
10. is called to the apostleship;
18. and is baptized by Ananias.
20. He preaches Christ boldly.
23. The Jews lay wait to kill him;
29. so do the Grecians, but he escapes both.
31. The church having rest, Peter heals Aeneas;
36. and restores Tabitha to life.

Acts 10. Cornelius' and Peter's Visions; Peter Preaches to the Gentiles

1. Cornelius, a devout man, being commanded by an angel, sends for Peter,
11. who by a vision is taught not to despise the Gentiles;
17. and is commanded by the Spirit to go with the messenger to Caesarea.
25. Cornelius shows the occasion of his sending for him.
34. As he preaches Christ to Cornelius and his company,
44. the Holy Spirit falls on them, and they are baptized.

Acts 11. Peter's Defense in Jerusalem; The Church at Antioch

1. Peter, being accused for preaching to the Gentiles,
5. makes his defense;
18. which is accepted.
19. The gospel being spread in Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch,
22. Barnabas is sent to confirm them.
26. The disciples are first called Christians at Antioch.
27. They send relief to the brothers in Judea in time of famine.

Acts 12. Peter Led from Prison by the Angel; Herod's Death

1. King Herod persecutes the Christians, kills James, and imprisons Peter;
6. whom an angel delivers upon the prayers of the church.
20. Herod in his pride taking to himself the honor due to God,
23. is stricken by an angel, and dies miserably.
24. After his death, the word of God prospers.
25. Saul and Barnabas return to Antioch.

Acts 13. Church Sends Barnabas and Saul on First Missionary Journey; Cyprus; Pisidian Antioch

1. Paul and Barnabas are chosen to go to the Gentiles.
6. Of Sergius Paulus, and Elymas the sorcerer.
13. Paul preaches at Antioch that Jesus is Christ.
42. The Gentiles believe;
44. but the Jews talked abusively against Paul,
46. whereupon they turn to the Gentiles, of whom many believe.
50. The Jews raise a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, who go to Iconium.

Acts 14. Paul and Barnabas in Iconium, Lystra, Derbe and Syrian Antioch

1. Paul and Barnabas are persecuted from Iconium.
8. At Lystra Paul heals a cripple, whereupon they are reputed as gods.
19. Paul is stoned.
21. They pass through various churches, confirming the disciples in faith and patience.
26. Returning to Antioch, they report what God had done with them.

Acts 15. The Council at Jerusalem; James' Support; Barnabas and Paul Part Ways; Second Missionary Journey begins

1. Great dissensions arise regarding circumcision.
5. The apostles consult about it,
22. and send their determination by letters to the churches.
36. Paul and Barnabas, thinking to visit the brothers together,
39. disagree, and travel different ways.

Acts 16. Timothy Joins Paul and Silas; Paul's Vision of a Macedonian; Lydia; Conversion of the Philippian Jailer

1. Paul and Silas are Joined by Timothy,
7. and being called by the Spirit from one country to another,
14. convert Lydia,
16. and cast out a spirit of divination;
19. for which cause they are whipped and imprisoned.
25. The prison doors are opened.
31. The jailor is converted,
35. and they are delivered.

Acts 17. Paul at Thessalonica, Berea and Athens

1. Paul preaches at Thessalonica, where some believe,
5. and others persecute him.
10. He is sent to Berea, and preaches there.
13. Being persecuted by Jews from Thessalonica,
16. he comes to Athens, and disputes and preaches the living God, to them unknown;
32. whereby, though some mock, many are converted unto Christ.

Acts 18. Paul in Corinth; Third Missionary Journey begins

1. Paul labors with his hands, and preaches at Corinth to the Gentiles.
9. The Lord encourages him in a vision.
12. He is accused before Gallio the deputy, but is dismissed.
18. Afterwards passing from city to city, he strengthens the disciples.
24. Apollos, being instructed by Aquila and Priscilla, preaches Christ boldly.

Acts 19. Miracles, Preaching and Riot in Ephesus

1. The Holy Spirit is given by Paul's hands.
8. The Jews blaspheme his doctrine, which is confirmed by miracles.
13. The Jewish exorcists,
16. are beaten by a man who had an evil spirit.
19. Conjuring books are burnt.
21. Demetrius, for love of gain, raises an uproar against Paul;
35. which is appeased by the town clerk.

Acts 20. Paul in Macedonia and Greece; Eutychus Raised; Paul's Farewell to Ephesian Elders

1. Paul goes to Macedonia, and thence to Troas.
7. He celebrates the Lord's supper, and preaches.
9. Eutychus having fallen down dead is raised to life.
13. Paul continues his travels;
17. and at Miletum he calls the elders together, tells them what shall befall to himself,
28. commits God's flock to them,
29. warns them of false teachers,
32. commends them to God,
36. prays with them, and departs.

Acts 21. Paul Sails from Miletus to Jerusalem, Seized in the Temple

1. Paul calls at the house of Philip, whose daughters prophesy.
10. Agabus, foretelling what should befall him at Jerusalem,
13. he will not be dissuaded from going thither.
17. He comes to Jerusalem;
27. where he is apprehended, and in great danger, but by the chief captain is rescued;
37. and requests, and is permitted to speak to the people.

Acts 22. Paul's Defense to the Crowd

1. Paul declares how he was converted to the faith,
17. and called to his apostleship.
22. At the very mentioning of the Gentiles the people exclaim on him.
24. He would have been scourged;
25. but claiming the privilege of a Roman, he escapes.

Acts 23. Paul before the Sanhedrin; Warned of Plot; Transferred to Caesarea

1. As Paul pleads his cause,
2. Ananias commands them to strike him.
7. Dissension among his accusers.
11. God encourages him.
14. The Jews' vow to kill Paul,
20. is declared unto the chief captain.
27. He sends him to Felix the governor.

Acts 24. The Trial Before Felix

1. Paul being accused by Tertullus the orator,
10. answers for his life and doctrine.
24. He preaches Christ to the governor and his wife.
26. The governor hopes for a bribe, but in vain.
27. Felix, succeeded by Festus, leaves Paul in prison.

Acts 25. The Trial Before Festus, King Agrippa

1. The Jews accuse Paul before Festus.
8. He answers for himself,
11. and appeals unto Caesar.
14. Afterwards Festus opens his matter to king Agrippa;
23. and he is brought forth.
25. Festus clears him of having done anything worthy of death.

Acts 26. Paul's Defense Before Agrippa

1. Paul, in the presence of Agrippa, declares his life from his childhood;
12. and how miraculously he was converted, and called to his apostleship.
24. Festus charges him with being insane, whereunto he answers modestly.
28. Agrippa is almost persuaded to be a Christian.
31. The whole company pronounces him innocent.

Acts 27. Paul Sails for Rome; Storm and Shipwreck

1. Paul shipping toward Rome,
10. foretells of the danger of the voyage,
11. but is not believed.
14. They are tossed to and fro by a storm;
41. and suffer shipwreck;
44. yet all come safe to land.

Acts 28. Paul Ashore at Malta; Preaches at Rome

1. Paul, after his shipwreck, is kindly entertained on Malta.
5. The snake on his hand hurts him not.
8. He heals many diseases in the island.
11. They depart toward Rome.
17. He declares to the Jews the cause of his coming.
24. After his preaching some were persuaded, and some believed not.
30. Yet he preaches there two years.
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